Hello Everyone. Sorry for the couple day absence. We’ve either been out of town, recovering from oral surgery and/or mourning the Titans loss.
Well, obviously, the perfect season ends at 10-0, which was a terrifically unexpected accomplishment in and of itself. Speaking for myself only (as the pessimist that I am), I really didn’t think that the Titans would finish undefeated anyway (I didn’t think that the Jets would be the team to finally beat us, though), so this isn’t a terrible shock or huge disappointment. Seeing that there are plenty worse times to lose (ask the Patriots), either 15-1 or 14-2 would still be pretty awesome. More importantly, either of those incredibly realistic records would still guarantee homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
Seeing that it’s Tuesday, and the next game is on Turkey Day (in case you’re on drugs, that’s gonna fall on a Thursday this year), we’re not going to do the full game notes like usual, but I would like to expound a bit more on some of the points that Jody made on Sunday.
- I don’t know whether this game was a “letdown game” that was bound to happen at some point or not, but I do know that the Titans played very, very poorly. The Jets, on the other hand, played very well, and won handily. Basically you won’t hear any excuses from the Titans because A: that’s not the nature of a Jeff Fisher coached team, and B: they were outplayed in virtually every facet of the game. Outside of a couple questionable pass interference calls on Chris Carr, during a late drive when the game was already decided, there aren’t any calls that stick out. Basically, I don’t think anyone would argue with giving the Jets their due credit, New York played a drastically better ballgame.
- Kerry Collins started the game 2-10 passing, but five of those eight incompletions were dropped balls (including drops by Bo Scaife and LenDale White, in particular, that would have been good for some significant yardage). These drops came in drives when the Titans were still only trailing by a touchdown, thanks to superb turnovers created by Jevon Kearse and Cortland Finnegan. Collins didn’t look all that great, but his receiving corps looked like the sub-par group we were worried about coming into this season, especially when the game was still very much in question.
- Tennessee’s bread and butter over the years has been running the ball and stopping opponents from doing the same. The Titans started the season doing exactly that, but over the last month the trend has been the opposite, which is far from a good thing. In the last three games the Titans have been outrushed 179 yards to 410 yards, and the Titans rushing D is now ranked only 15th in the league. Even with injuries to the defense that have added up, the Titans have enough depth (especially on the line) to consistently be a top 10 unit. Luckily, as Jody stated, games against Detroit, Cleveland and Houston should be just what the doctor ordered to get the Titans back on track in this regard. Another good sign is that Chris Johnson and LenDale White have combined for only 66 carries over the last three weeks, so they should be relatively fresh.
Thanksgiving is probably the greatest day of the year, and this Thursday we’ll all be able to be thankful that we’re not Lions fans. Sunday’s game sucked, but the big prize is still very much in reach, and at this point I still don’t know many people betting against the Titans at home in January. The Jets’ win exposed that Tennessee can play an occasional bad game and that New York is much more legitimate than I, for one, thought, but not that there is anything that can’t be corrected. Again, the Lions, Browns and Texans will probably do their part to help right the ship, against a Titans group that is still the team to beat in the AFC.